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Can you overdose (OD) on Xanax?

Can you overdose (OD) on Xanax?

Yes, you can overdose on Xanax (alprazolam).  But it is difficult.

In fact, Xanax, which is mainly used to help control anxiety, is known to be a relatively safe drug. But how much Xanax does it take to overdose and what can you do to protect yourself from an accidental Xanax overdose? In this article, we’ll explore the risk factors for Xanax overdose. And we invite your questions about Xanax and overdose at the end.

Can you overdose on Xanax?

Yes, you can overdose on Xanax, but the amount needed is typically very high. The amount needed to overdose on Xanax will vary from person to person, based on your body weight, previous exposure to Xanax, metabolism and other factors. However, if you take Xanax with other medications or alcohol, your risk of overdose or complications increases. Additionally, Xanax abuse (intentionally taking Xanax for non-medical reasons) such as snorting Xanax high increases your risk of potential overdose. This medication should only be taken swallowed as a whole pill, and only in the doses recommended by your doctor.

What happens when you overdose on Xanax?

Taking large amounts of Xanax causes drowsiness and impairment of judgment, and this can put you in danger. The dizziness and excessive tiredness that are common side effects of Xanax may cause accidents. And when taken at high doses or mixed with other drugs, Xanax can cause a slowed heartbeat or breathing problems.

But the most dangerous complication of Xanax overdose is slowed or shallow breathing. Xanax overdose can cause your breathing to stop completely. Other medications combined with the Xanax may also cause overdose, or make these effects more pronounced.

How many Xanax is too much?

Doctors never recommend more than 2 mg of Xanax be taken at one time, that’s only in someone with a tolerance for the medication. Starting doses of Xanax can be as low as 0.75 mg per day.

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Some people have reported taking up to 2000 mg of Xanax, with only minor toxicity. This is more than 1000 times the maximum daily recommended dose, making Xanax a very safe medication when it’s taken alone. However, it is much easier to overdose on Xanax when it’s combined with other central nervous system depressants, such as opiates or alcohol.

Xanax overdose help

It takes a very high amount of Xanax to overdose, and even more to experience long-term health effects or death, at least when Xanax is taken alone.  This is one reason why alprazolam is not classified as narcotic Xanax (addiction liability for Xanax is low, as well).  It can be unpleasant and dangerous to take high amounts of Xanax, but medically it’s unlikely to seriously harm you if taken alone. Taking high doses of Xanax habitually can cause withdrawal symptoms, which can be serious, including seizures.

If you’ve taken Xanax in high doses along with alcohol or other drugs and you suspect you may be experiencing an overdose, your prognosis may not be as good. Medical attention is necessary if you start experiencing troubling breathing or an irregular heartbeat.

Overdose on Xanax questions

If you have any questions about safe amounts of Xanax in your system, please leave them here. We are happy to try to help answer your questions about Xanax, and will try to respond with a personal and prompt reply for all legitimate queries.

Reference Sources: Medline Plus: Alprazolam
PubChem: Alprazolam
ToxNet: Alprazolam

 

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49 Responses to “Can you overdose (OD) on Xanax?
Mike
2:03 pm February 9th, 2014

My dad was a decades long Xanax user who was suffering from shortness of breath associated with emphysema. He had recently stopped using a Nebulizer, saying he felt fine and no longer needed to use it. Five days later he was found dead, apparently dying after falling asleep watching television. No autopsy was done, but is it plausible death was caused by impaired breathing from toxic levels (too much) of Xanax and facing certain death from emphysema?

Please reply and advise soon…

With my sincerest thanks,

Mike

10:14 am February 13th, 2014

Hello Mike. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You must miss your father tremendously and can understand why you’d like to learn more about the circumstances of his passing.

I’d suggest that you take your question directly to your father’s supervising physician, to a pharmacist, or to a toxicologist. You’ll need a handful of medical experts to help you piece together the cause of death.

Dhaliz Delfante
4:57 pm February 27th, 2014

I tale XANAX from year 1995 and I talen 2mg; two tablets three times a day For pánico attack if I know I DONT have with me I must to returned home and taken and WOKING very good For me and I DONT lose memory

kim
9:48 pm April 21st, 2014

Hi thanx for having this type of communication platform. what happen my husband took 2 .5 ativan. we went fishing he had 2 captain and coke and 3 coors. we we came home he took from what we belive he too a mix of ativan and xanax before bed. he missed his 6 o’clock alarm. my daughter and i went to wake him up and by know its 10:00. we he did speak it was incoherent and talking about statues and quads., lol. i know its not that funny. anyway he got up to go to work but was extremely wobbly running into walls and slurd speeeh. my 2 questions ar when he gets home from work should he to the hospital or will the combination has worn of by know? sorry so long just trying to give you the hole story. one last question him taking a mix of ativan and xanax. he took 12 of the combination. what should i look for. THANKYOU

9:42 am April 23rd, 2014

Hello Kim. I’d suggest that you call the Poison Control Center to assess his level of intoxication and the risk of injury: 1800-222-1222.

JC
1:24 am May 27th, 2014

Last nigh I believe I took 30 or more 8mg tab of Xanax and drag quite a bit. Would I have already died? Or is it a blessing I woke up?

7:35 am May 27th, 2014

Hello JC. Every day is a miracle!

Call the Poison Control Center for an over the phone assessment about the toxic effect of Xanax in your system. And seek help with a psychologist to uncover why you feel compelled to experiment with Xanax. Life is worth it!

More info here: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

alicia
2:34 pm June 5th, 2014

Is xanax safe to take with pep to-bismal?

chrystine
1:05 pm June 12th, 2014

I received a RX of 2mg. I have been taking 4 -5 THE LAST FEW DAYS AND PLAN TO TAKE 1 LESS PER DAY ( I HAVE 7 LEFT) WILL THIS BE OK. I HAVE SOME NEOROTON, SHOULD I TAKE THOSE. I PLAN TO STOP BY END OF WEEK. PLEASE ADVSIE.

Keith
2:06 am August 7th, 2014

My friend just took 2mg of xanax and 3 glasses of wine. Do I need to call 911?

10:00 am August 7th, 2014

Hi Keith. I’d suggest that you call the Poison Control Center on 1800-222-1222 to assess your friends level of intoxication and the risk of injury. If your friend has no tolerance to Xanax, it may be fatal. Calling 911 can save her life.

Mimi
11:03 am August 8th, 2014

I use to take Xanax before flying, for anxiety. But later on I used it for sleeping in .25 mg for a long time I took it occasionally, when I couldn’t sleep. I started with 1/2 of .25 then whole. Last 4 months I’m using it every night as my sleep got worse. Now I’m realizing that .25 mg is not working. I often have too many sleepless nights. It takes 3 hrs to work then I wake up during the night after 1 or 3 hours. I feel exhausted and very stressed out. What is the solution? Very worried and don’t know how to treat my insomnia. Any suggestion about this problem?

8:22 am August 11th, 2014

Hello Mimi. When you see that doses of Xanax, that used to work earlier, no longer produce the same effect, it’s the body building up tolerance to the medication. Instead of starting a larger dose, try to taper off of Xanax. You can see your doctor and ask about help. Doctors can help you create a tapering schedule that fits your individual needs, plus give you alternatives that help treat insomnia and Xanax withdrawal.

Ashley
9:23 pm September 4th, 2014

My boyfriend recently started taking Xanax, as prescribed by his doctor, and has been having suicidal thoughts. I’m worried he might overdose, is that possible with his prescription? (He referred to it as a .5 pill and only has about 100 of them)

JADE BAKER
7:26 pm September 12th, 2014

THEN WHY IS IT HARD TO FIND A DR. THAT WILL PRESCRIBE IT TO YOU? THEY ALL ACT AS IF IT’S A BAD DRUG! I WISH I HAD SOME GOOD ANSWERS ABOUT THIS!!

Jae
3:11 am October 29th, 2014

I have been treated on xanax for 8 months 2 mg a day for severe anxiety as needed. Until skipping days and not taking it on a regular basis has given me sever neaseua. So my dr recommended 2 mg daily. But the neaseua is still present. 8 months ago I told my dr I do smoke cannabis for back pain at night informed my dr about me smoking to help with appetite and back pain. Now I have a physical due blood and urine tests included she said with thc in my system that will show up I have a month to get my MMJ card which she thinks I’ll be able to get or stop smoking. (Which I can’t for pain and appetite.) and I am an organic vegetarian who doesn’t even take tylenol bc I am against harmful chemicals in pharmaceutical drugs. That’s why I refused medication for pain. But my job is getting in bearable I am on a medical leave to take days off as needed. But how can a dr cut me xanax at 8 months of use where I have built up a yolerence and dependencie to this drug. I am so afraid of having that taken away cold turkey with no process to wean off. I know I can’t do that and fear for my health and side effects.

10:29 pm November 1st, 2014

Hello Jae. You can tell your doctor that you want to quit Xanax by gradually lowering doses. Then, ask him to help create a tapering schedule. He will still keep prescribing them until you are tapering, so you’ll feel minimal withdrawal and won’t have to go cold turkey, eventually.

denise
5:41 am November 2nd, 2014

I am concerned about my 32 year old son.please help me with what to do. I think he is taking way to much everyday.

eric
5:54 am November 4th, 2014

in response to Dhaliz Delfante. your statement “I tale XANAX from year 1995 and I talen 2mg; two tablets three times a day” is not accurate. you’re saying you take 6 mgs total daily. a dr cannot prescript anyone to more than 4mgs a day. also it does cause memory loss. the reason you do not experience it, is because if you take that high of a dose everyday, the effects are not nearly as strong.

this article is also not accurate. starting doses are not as low as .75mg a day. starting doses are as low as .25mg a day. sometimes even just half of that.

it is true though, overdosing on xanax alone is not easily achieved. most of the time you will just fall asleep for a long time. never combine with other drugs tho unless your dr says it’s ok.

Kendra
9:41 am December 21st, 2014

I just 7 mg of doggy xanaxx.. I feel weird and I’m scar3d. I don’t know what to do I don’t want to die I guess I did but now I’m scared

3:16 pm December 23rd, 2014

Hello Kendra. Call the Poison Control Center on 1800-222-1222 for an assessment of the overdose risk and instruction on what to do next. If you feel the situation is getting worse Call 911 or get someone to drive you to the ER.

Bobby
8:51 am December 24th, 2014

I just took 2.5 Xanax, I scared will I be ok ;( I haven’t taken Xanax in a long time

2:54 pm December 29th, 2014

Hi Bobby. It’s a little high dose for someone who hasn’t taken Xanax for a while, but you’ll be ok.

emily
3:12 am January 5th, 2015

I take .5-1mg xanax a day. And have done so for years. This week has given me severe panic attacks and I took 2 mg just now. Should I be concerned?

2:19 pm January 15th, 2015

Hello Emily. I apologize it took some time to reply. If you’ve been prescribed Xanax for years, you have developed tolerance by now. This means your body is now accustomed to the presence of Xanax. Now, although you wont be facing any major risks, you should always take your doses as prescribed.

Tracey
9:01 pm January 16th, 2015

I have been on cymbalt 60mga and Xanax 1 mg3 times a day and Ambien CR12,5 for awhile now and sometimes ,, I really notice a diffrance1 I am really scared as most days I am auable to leave my house. no one undersatnds.

Gerald
7:34 am January 23rd, 2015

My girlfriend took 10 aprazolam tablets 1mg during a crisis. I have to mention also that she’d been drinking quite a lot of wine before (couples of wine) and also she barely slept past 3nights… Is this an emergency situation?, my sincerest thank, gerald

1:25 pm January 26th, 2015

Hello Geralt. I’d suggest that you call the Poison Control Center to assess her level of intoxication and the risk of injury: 1800-222-1222. It’s a free over-the-phone helpline and the poison experts there will instruct what you should do next.

james
8:39 pm February 27th, 2015

I overdosed on these; my girlfriend found me, my breathing was faint and I couldn’t wake up or talk. She rang an ambulance and I was fine however I didn’t realize what had happened. For 3 days it was all like a dream…should I say nightmare, now I’m getting the help I need.

Wayne
12:30 am March 5th, 2015

Just throwing this out there… I take a very low dose of Xanax when I fly, it is the only time I ever take it. My wife has never flown before but we have to take a trans-atlantic flight next month, and she is already feeling anxiety just thinking about flying. She wants to take a low dosage of Xanax just for the flights, which in general I would think is okay. My concern is that she is very sensitive to everything that can cause a physical side effect… she feels drunk after 1 glass of wine and will get ill if she drinks 2. How do you think she will be if she even just takes .25 mg?

Tory
8:04 am March 16th, 2015

My girlfriend just took 4 .25 mg of xnax should I call someone?

11:12 am March 16th, 2015

Hello Tory. Call the Poison Control Center on 1800-222-1222 to talk to a poison expert who can do an assessment of the overdose risk and give you instruction on what to do next.

Sandra
4:38 am April 22nd, 2015

Does Xaxaz cause pain or does it just put you to sleep Mike?

Anon
12:23 pm April 22nd, 2015

Hi, I’ve just taken 3 x 0.25g tablets – is that too many?

katie
9:40 pm April 23rd, 2015

If you have a tolerance to xanax, but for example take more than you normally take with alcohol, would you overdose or not because you already have a tolerance built up? Say you normally take 1mg three times a day, then after drinking take alot more than that due to impaired judgement from the alcohol…will the already established tolerance decrease the chances of a fatal overdose?

Abigail
4:31 am April 24th, 2015

If someone was to take 5 1mg tablets would that be really bad?

J. Andersen
4:18 am May 16th, 2015

I am terrified of flying, it’s a claustrophobia issue. I have to fly next week and I feel anxiety already – I feel like I can’t get on that plane! I’m afraid the xanax won’t work – I only take it when I fly…my doctor has prescribed me .5 mg and I might take it once or twice a year – should I be concerned? Is there any reason it wouldn’t work? Can I take more than one if I feel I need it? Can I have a glass of wine to help…?

laura
11:43 pm May 20th, 2015

If I take 2mg of Ic Alprazolam and 15 mg of IC Temazepam capsule what can it do

12:28 pm May 21st, 2015

HI Laura. Discuss the possible effects and risks with a pharmacist at the local pharmacy.

Ria
6:41 am May 29th, 2015

My boyfriend just took 400 mg of Xanax and is passed out asleep snoring. He seemed very high before. What should I do? Will he be ok?

Jake
7:11 am May 30th, 2015

Hello. So I’m taking 1 to 2mg xanax daily and want to stop taking it except in the case of severe panic attacks. I’m wondering if that dose could pose a threat with withdrawal symptoms such as seizures? I’ve been taking it 2x daily for three months, I’m make, 25, 5’8″, 180 pounds, Caucasian. My daily dose never exceeds 2mg or goes below .5 mg

Richard
2:50 am June 1st, 2015

A FEW YEARS AGO I GOT INTO A FIGHT WITH MY GIRLFRIEND. I SWALLOWED 90 XANAX, THAT’S ALL I REMEMBER. I WOKE UP A MONTH LATER OUT OF A COMA. I HAD TUBES IN EVERY HOLE OF MY BODY EXCEPT EARS. MY FRIEND WHO IS A COP FOUND ME FACE DOWN IN THE SNOW DEAD. THEY STARTED MY HEART, PULLED OVER AGAIN ON WAY TO THE ER TO RESTART AGAIN. GOT TO ER; HEART QUIT TWO MORE TIMES. WAS IN COMA A MONTH AND ON LIFE SUPPORT. DON’T KNOW IF IT CAUSED IT BUT I’M 47 AND JUST WAS DIAGNOSED WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE.

ALWAYSECOND
6:44 pm June 2nd, 2015

I get 90 1mg xanax per month..if taken all at one time, what will be the outcome?

Kevin
2:54 am June 11th, 2015

Someone close to me tried to commit suicide by taking 60 2mg pills she wasnt found until 4 hrs had passed she also took 27 ambien and about 20 oz 80 proof whiskey she has been sleeping in the hospital for 3 days since the episode what will be the damage done and long term affect when she wakes up

5:11 pm June 12th, 2015

Hi Kevin. Consequences vary from person to person. She will need time to physically recover after waking up, but I suggest you make strong efforts to provide her with good psychological support and professional help.

Shawn
10:46 am June 15th, 2015

Hi, I am a 16 year old boy with a major issue. One of my friends (15 girl) has been taking Xanax for roughly a month now. She also consumes other drugs such as kush, and weed. She even smokes cigarettes. I am well aware of the grave symptoms of overdosing on Xanax and I was seeking advice. I don’t know where to start or stand anymore. I really want to help but when ever I try to talk to her she brushes it off or changes the subject really quick. i would like to know if it’s easy for her to stop or if it’s once of the drugs that once you start it’s almost impossible to end. Also, how long until… :(

12:13 pm June 15th, 2015

Hi Shawn. Thank you for being such a kind and concerned friend. Don’t worry, she can stop, but she’ll need the proper help and support to change her self-harming ways. Can you tell her parents or talk to a school counselor? I know that this doesn’t seem right and you may feel like you are betraying her, but in the bigger picture if you don’t tell anyone and if she gets in much more trouble – you know all along and didn’t try to stop it.

shannon
5:28 am June 22nd, 2015

I took 6 1millagram xanax and I feel great should I worry

Jill
5:52 pm June 23rd, 2015

I took too much Xanax over the course of Sunday and Monday, and it is now tuesday and I still feel very dizzy and exhausted and am having a hard time concentrating. How long do these symptoms typically last?

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